Oakland Director

Reports to: Chief of Local Impact and Chief of Policy

Status: Full-time, exempt

Salary: Depending upon experience


About SPUR

Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems the region faces. With offices in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, we are recognized as a leading civic planning organization and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues.


The Oakland Director implements SPUR’s vision for change through local action and ensures that SPUR’s vision is informed by local context. Along with the San Jose Director and San Francisco Director, this role sits on both SPUR’s Local Impact team and its Policy team and reports to the Chief of Local Impact and the Chief of Policy.

The Oakland Director is responsible for building alliances and partnerships at the local level. This role will: serve as primary point of contact for SPUR’s Oakland Board of Directors and its Oakland-focused policy and advocacy; build relationships with elected officials, agency heads, prospective funders, community leaders and advocacy partners; understand local trends; and, identify strategic opportunities and threats to achieving SPUR’s fundraising goals and realizing our vision for social change. The Oakland Director serves as a strategic advisor within SPUR and a trusted ally with partners.

SPUR’s city directors have an essential role in board engagement and stewardship. Working with the principles and strategies developed by the Chief of Local Impact, the Oakland Director cultivates close working relationships with and among board members; co-creates local impact initiatives with SPUR’s Oakland Board; and, identifies key opportunities to leverage the board to drive SPUR’s social change agenda. This position serves as the primary point of contact for the Oakland Board and develops and manages monthly board meetings.

With lead responsibility for local relationship management and partnership stewardship, the Oakland Director builds trusted relationships across a broad spectrum of leaders, effectively managing a high volume of important relationships at one time. This person has a high EQ, with a deep understanding of human emotions and their subsequent behavioral outcomes. The Oakland Director must be a flexible leader, comfortable with managing conflict and seeking common ground. Through effective partnership, this role will be able to see where opportunities for collective action and impact exist, implement them and share success.

As one of the three locally based members of the Policy team, the Oakland Director will have a deep understanding of the public policy process, levers and community context in Oakland. This role will work with the Chief of Policy to shape SPUR’s policy priorities and be able to identify and develop locally relevant political opportunities that demonstrate SPUR’s impact and meaningfully and measurably promote equity across the region.

The Oakland Director will extend SPUR’s reach and create impactful partnerships that position the organization to secure new and sustaining funding sources. Working with the Development team, this role will inform and execute on SPUR’s strategic fundraising direction.

Essential Functions

  • Serve in key organizational leadership role focused on local implementation and impact of SPUR’s vision for a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Bay Area
  • Serve as primary point of contact responsible for high-touch engagement with SPUR’s Oakland City Board of Directors
  • Build and maintain relationships with city and county policy-makers and staff and lead SPUR’s city-focused policy development, advocacy and implementation efforts in Oakland
  • Lead responsibility for strategic relationship management, partnership stewardship and collective impact
  • Using situational awareness, identify strategic opportunities and threats to realizing SPUR’s vision for social change understand local trends to inform SPUR’s policy priorities
  • Organize engagement events and represent SPUR in media, meetings, forums and other visibility opportunities
  • Contribute substantive content about local issues for distribution via SPUR communication platforms
  • Serve as a key resource for fund development efforts in support of SPUR’s Oakland office
  • Work in close coordination with the Chief of Local Impact, the city directors in San Francisco and San Jose, as well as SPUR’s regional policy directors

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Commitment to the health and vitality of Oakland and its residents
  • Passion for urban affairs with proven ability to recognize public policy opportunities for implementation and local impact
  • Proven ability to develop trusted partnerships with a variety of leaders from the public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, as well as community leaders
  • High emotional intelligence that facilitates the ability to bring different interests together around shared goals
  • Capable and compelling communicator, as a public speaker and in writing
  • Adept at policy development and negotiations within a political environment
  • Experienced and comfortable asking people for money
  • Self-directing initiative guided by strong judgement about course of action
  • Ability to make and admit to mistakes and learn from them
  • Strong time-management skills with the ability to multi-task and work under pressure with enthusiasm and humor

Salary and Benefits

Salary is to be determined, depending upon experience. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a complete benefits package of health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, basic life insurance, pre-tax commuter benefits, employee assistance program (EAP) and retirement plan with twenty-five contribution matching.


Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to work-oakland-director@spur.org

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and, skills required of personnel so assigned.

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political orientation.


Get Email Updates

Get SPUR news and events delivered straight to your email inbox.

Sign up now